Health Dept. Workers Hurling Over Holiday Ham

Contaminated ham likely served at department Christmas party

It's the duty of health department employees to protect us from contaminated foods. But in Lawrence County, perhaps they should have kept their investigative skills a bit closer to home.

In appreciation for its employees, the Lawrence County Health Department held a buffet for 72 people last week. But afterward, 42 of the attendees fell ill, including Phyllis Wells, head of the department.

"I'm telling you, it got me down, I about passed out and everything else," Wells said, the AP reports. "It's not been funny. It's taken the punch out of my whole Christmas."

While the source of the outbreak hasn't been isolated, the likely culprit is the cold diced ham served in the salad bar.

Of course, the humor of the situation isn't lost on the health officials.

"It's just my luck," Wells said, mustering a laugh. "Usually, it's our job to investigate other things. But us getting sick is ironic."

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